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Why Resistance is Detrimental to Mindful Growth and How to Overcome It

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 10:59 Written by 

We have discussed the topic of change resistance before, but how harmful can it actually be to your ability to grow and evolve mindfully as a human being? No matter what kinds of changes you’re trying to implement, there are bound to be some people who will resist, and oftentimes this resistance will manifest itself as anger, outrage, fit-throwing, manipulation, and other chaotic and emotionally reactive expressions, the severity of which depending largely on the personality types you’re dealing with as well as how many emotions and issues they have buried during their lifetimes. It sounds intimidating, but by implementing a few simple daily habits, you can minimize your emotional reactivity and resistance to change, therefore understanding and being able to guide and lead others through the process as well.


One of the toughest aspects of changing anything is the resistance and fallout that is bound to ensue. Think about it… how often have you felt yourself shrinking away from doing or eating something new because you worried that it would be bad or unpleasant? Of course, that’s a seemingly insignificant change, but one taste of healthier food or the energy it gives you could begin a domino effect of a journey through weight loss, increased fitness, and even a complete lifestyle change.


What typically happens is that the change you’re making seems to come on slowly for you because you are at the forefront; you are aware of the changes taking place or being implemented, especially in a company setting, and the people you lead may not even know that anything is in the works yet. The circumstances don’t really matter; what does matter is that, when people find out that something has already begun changing and they don’t feel like they had an opportunity for input, their ego tends to get a little butt-hurt and they might blame you for anything and everything that they may find until they can reel their ego back in.


So, knowing this, what are some ways in which you can help yourself and others handle change in a much more constructive way? Let’s take a look.


3 Ways to Overcome Change Resistance


1. The Purging Process

One of the reasons change resistance can be so obvious within some people versus others is because sometimes change will bring out old issues, buried emotions, and a sense of powerlessness that is based completely in the fear of the ego. That fear can manifest itself in various different ways depending on the person, and sometimes it creates anger, control issues, power plays, manipulation tactics, and other negative side-effects.


How to Handle It:

Stress and the unknown are devastating to the ego, so the more information you can give people about the changes happening, the more they will feel in the know. However, if you’re dealing with changes that aren’t public knowledge or that you can’t share information about, then you may need to assign new projects or other work to keep people busy and distracted from their feelings. Becoming a master of distraction (and teaching your team this skill) is an excellent way to help everyone stay focused on positive thoughts.


2. Drop That Sack of Rocks

Letting go of something you’ve been carrying around with you for years isn’t easy. It’s like we get so used to carrying these emotional burdens that we can’t remember what it’s like to feel free or alive… how sad! Unfortunately, a potato sack full of useless rocks is something many of us carry around with us, and sometimes for so long that our hands clench shut and get stuck there, holding on for dear life to this horribly heavy bag of rocks.


How to Handle It:

Hire an executive coach who knows how to implement strategic intervention methods. This is the fastest, most efficient, and most powerful way to get everyone on your team to reach a breakthrough within a short time, sometimes within minutes. If you’re looking for fast results, this is the way to get them. To learn about our executive coaching services, please visit:


3. Simplify

When things get too complex or difficult, fear and ego tend to run the show again. This could be a shutdown or even a meltdown due to overwhelm and analysis paralysis. When people experience this, it can manifest as lethargy, a lack of focus, being high-strung, and running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Yikes!


How to Handle It:

For yourself as well as for your employees, one exercise is to begin sorting out your office space, reorganizing, and essentially decluttering everything. This is similar to the purging process from earlier, but in this case, it’s more physical than emotional. Again, part of the strategy is to keep people busy and distracted, but another aspect to this is that people tend to be more easily able to focus in a clean environment. If you have chaos and clutter all around you, it may very well affect the way in which you function.


There you have it! As always, continue leading mindfully and I hope you’re enjoying your week!



For more information about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:


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The Executive Coaching University is one of the leading Executive Coaching Training and Leadership Development firms in the world. We have trained thousands of individuals in 39 countries in our proprietary MasterMind Executive Coaching Process™ as well as many other leadership skills. Our programs are approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in the UK.


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